Transglutaminase 2 limits the extravasation and the resultant myocardial fibrosis associated with factor XIII-A deficiency

Kathryn J. Griffin*, Laura M. Newell, Kingsley R. Simpson, Cora M.L. Beckers, Mark J. Drinkhill, Kristina F. Standeven, Lih T. Cheah, Siiri E. Iismaa, Peter J. Grant, Christopher L. Jackson, Richard J. Pease

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Background and aims: 

Transglutaminase (TG) 2 and Factor (F) XIII-A have both been implicated in cardiovascular protection and repair. This study was designed to differentiate between two competing hypotheses: that TG2 and FXIII-A mediate these functions in mice by fulfilling separate roles, or that they act redundantly in this respect. 


Atherosclerosis was assessed in brachiocephalic artery plaques of fat-fed mixed strain apolipoprotein (Apo)e deficient mice that lacked either or both transglutaminases. Cardiac fibrosis was assessed both in the mixed strain mice and also in C57BL/6J Apoe expressing mice lacking either or both transglutaminases. 


No difference was found in the density of buried fibrous caps within brachiocephalic plaques from mice expressing or lacking these transglutaminases. Cardiac fibrosis developed in both Apoe/F13a1 double knockout and F13a1 single knockout mice, but not in Tgm2 knockout mice. However, concomitant Tgm2 knockout markedly increased fibrosis, as apparent in both Apoe/Tgm2/F13a1 knockout and Tgm2/F13a1 knockout mice. Amongst F13a1 knockout and Tgm2/F13a1 knockout mice, the extent of fibrosis correlated with hemosiderin deposition, suggesting that TG2 limits the extravasation of blood in the myocardium, which in turn reduces the pro-fibrotic stimulus. The resulting fibrosis was interstitial in nature and caused only minor changes in cardiac function. 


These studies confirm that FXIII-A and TG2 fulfil different roles in the mouse myocardium. FXIII-A protects against vascular leakage while TG2 contributes to the stability or repair of the vasculature. The protective function of TG2 must be considered when designing clinical anti-fibrotic therapies based upon FXIII-A or TG2 inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Early online date17 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Factor XIII-A
  • Fibrosis
  • Myocardium
  • Transglutaminase 2


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